Descriptions of the Models
and Summary of Results
Education as Experimentation:
A Planned Variation Model
Geoffrey Bock, Linda Stebbins with Elizabeth C. Proper
April 15, 1977
Note from the editor: The following excerpts from the final evaluation reports of Project Follow Through include the description of each model and the summary of its results.
The information [for the descriptions of the models] was taken from several sources including personal communication with the sponsors or their representatives…Each sponsor also had the opportunity to edit [the descriptions]. Many sponsors have expended considerable effort in rephrasing our materials to ensure their accuracy. We are grateful for their assistance and have tried to abide by their perceptions. (page 4)
Responsive Education Model
Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development
The goals of the Responsive Education Model are for learners to develop problem solving abilities, healthy self-concepts, and culturally pluralistic attitudes and behaviors. Attainment of these goals and program objectives requires that the learning environment support productive child-centered learning and that the curriculum content and skills be relevant to the children’s experiences outside the classroom.
The essence of this program has been described as follows:
The Responsive Program is based on beliefs in building a pluralistic society and in strengthening children as individuals. Instead of the deficit view of compensatory education that focuses on deficiencies of low-income minority children, it adheres to a productive approach of enhancing the values of cultural differences and responding to the strengths of children as individuals…Schools should respond to children and their families rather than vice versa. (Judd and Wood, 1973)
The Responsive Education Model assumes that no single theory of learning can account for all the modes in which children learn; therefore, it seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences which build on the background, culture and lifestyle the child brings into the classroom. The child in a responsive learning environment engages in exploring, raising questions, planning, making choices and setting goals. The child discovers individual self-strengths, preferences, and liabilities. Each child develops a repertoire of abilities for building a broad and varied experiential base as well as self-confidence. The child interacts with all aspects of the educational environment, including other children. Whether individually, or within a group, the child may take on the role of leader, follower, or evaluator. These interactions can be curriculum oriented and may also involve personal and social issues. As the child grows through learning experiences, which address personal and social issues, inquiries are made into the nature of problem solving and the child takes greater responsibility for learning.
The teachers are integral and key contributors in a responsive learning environment. They are skilled observers of the learners in a manner that supports and contributes to the objectives and principles of the Responsive Education Model. The teachers in this model establish an educational climate, develop a curriculum, and facilitate the learner’s experiences.
The Responsive Education Model emphasizes the use of parents in meeting the program’s objectives. Parents are encouraged to share in policy and curriculum decisions, to participate in the Parent Advisory Council (PAC), and to become involved in the classroom. This program provides specific training to help parents extend program objectives in the home. Parents are taught to use games and toys checked out from a toy library (maintained to provide parents with materials), to teach concepts contributing to program objectives. Parents also meet in workshops where they are taught to make learning aids. Through this training and through the volunteer classroom activities, parents have the opportunity to learn those types of adult-child interactions consistent with the objectives of the program.
The Responsive Education Model as Realized in Follow Through
The Responsive Education Model is evaluated in eleven sites: Berkeley, CA; Buffalo, NY; Duluth, MN; Fresno, CA; Lebanon, NH; Salt Lake City, UT; St. Louis, MO; Tacoma, WA; Goldsboro, NC; Sumter, SC; and Owensboro, KY.
Tucson Early Education Model (TEEM)
Arizona Center for Early Education
The Tucson Early Education Model (TEEM) is based on the concept that each child has a unique growth pattern with individual rates and styles of learning. Based on M. Hughes’ idea that formal learning should begin with the experiences young children bring to the classroom, and that the children’s understanding of words and their meanings depends on the children’s experiences, TEEM emphasizes a language-experience approach to cognitive development (Judd and Wood, 1973). The classroom is designed to support the use of language in relating experiences and learning how to learn.
Teachers work with children in groups of three to six. These groups are deliberately heterogeneous so that children will learn from peers. Interest centers are provided in the classroom to stimulate discovery and learning. Some classroom activities are selected and structured by the teacher; others are chosen by the children. Both types of activities are based on student need and interest. Even in this open-ended context the learning experiences of the children are carefully structured through teacher planning and direction. Various publisher’s materials (e.g. , Language Experience in Reading by R. V. Allen and R. Stauffer; Sounds of Language by W. Marting; Math by the Nuffield Foundation), as well as materials prepared by the teachers and the children, are available in the classroom. Field trips and walks extend the pupils’ experiences. Teachers work with school psychologists to define and analyze educational problems and plan carefully defined individual solutions consistent with the TEEM approach.
The major goals for children are attended to by the teachers through a process called “orchestration.” In this process, the child learns language, intellectual skills, attitudes, and societal arts and skills in a single activity. The teachers are trained to use imitation and modeling techniques as a means for developing all goal areas.
TEEM has specific goals regarding parents, including encouraging their frequent contact with school and inviting them to observe and participate in the classroom. Recently, more specified methods and approaches for implementing these goals have been developed by the sponsor.
TEEM as Realized in Follow Through
TEEM is evaluated in twelve sites: Chicasha, OK; Des Moines, IA; Lakewood, NJ; Newark, NJ; Lincoln, NB; Wichita, KS; Baltimore, MD; Vermilion Parish, LA; Durham, NC; Fort Worth, TX; Walker County, GA; and Pike County, KY.
Bank Street Model
The Bank Street Model has the immediate goal of stimulating children’s cognitive and affective development, and the long range goal of effecting community change. It emphasizes personal growth of children, parents and teachers. Academic skills and emotional social development are viewed as complementary processes; both are emphasized equally. The classroom is designed to provide a stable, organized environment. Within it, children participate actively, supported by adults who help to expand their world and sensitize them to the meaning of their experiences within it. Academic skills are acquired within the broad context of direct experiences planned to provide appropriate ways of organizing and extending the children’s expressed interests. Math, reading, and language are taught as tools to carry out an investigation of these interests. Children plan their learning tasks with teachers and make autonomous choices when appropriate. A wide variety of Bank Street and commercial materials are available, such as the Bank Street readers and language stimulation materials. Children write creative stories, write their own books, read for pleasure, engage in dramatic plan, music, and art. Social studies are also emphasized in the Bank Street approach.
The teachers play a vital role in this model, using diagnostic tools to analyze child behavior, child-adult interaction, and the social and physical milieu of the classroom. The staff development program aims at developing a repertoire of teaching strategies from which to choose and insights into how to enhance children’s capacity to probe, reason, solve problems, and express their feelings freely and constructively. Since the teaching is based on study of the child’s strengths and learning style, there is strong emphasis on individual follow-up.
The Bank Street Model as Realized in Follow Through
The Bank Street Model is evaluated in eight sites: New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Brattleboro, VT; Fall River, MA; New Haven, CT; Rochester, NY; Wilmington, DE; and Macon County, AL.
Direct Instruction Model
University of Oregon College of Education
The Direct Instruction Model is a behaviorally oriented educational program. It utilizes a tightly controlled instructional methodology and highly structured teaching materials. Its aim is to accelerate the learning of disadvantaged children in reading, language, and arithmetic. Although the instruction is programmed, the emphasis is placed on the children’s learning intelligent behavior rather than specific pieces of information by rote memorization. The Direct Instruction approach uses a fast moving series of programmed questions and answers. Teachers present specified questions to elicit a verbal child response. Proper responses are reinforced and wrong answer corrected according to specified procedures. These questions, answers, and correction procedures are contained in the Direct Instructional System in Arithmetic and Reading (Distar) materials published by Science Research Associates (SRA). Noncore subjects are generally introduced after mastery of basic skills.
Direct Instruction teachers are trained in the use of Distar programs. Teachers use these programmed materials with small homogenous groups of children for set periods of time. The groups rotate by schedule. The children follow this group instruction with self-directed practice in workbooks. Planned home practice or new skills are also coordinated with the classroom lesson. The Direct Instruction goal for teachers is that they become proficient practitioners of the model’s techniques. Criterion-referenced tests are administered to children at frequent and regular intervals to provide information to the teachers on student progress. Supervisors use video taping and observations to allow teachers to evaluate their own performances in the classroom.
Parents participate in the program in several capacities: some are employed in each classroom on a permanent basis as teacher aides (one or two per classroom) and assistants; others are employed as needed and trained to administer the criterion-referenced pupil progress tests and operate the video tape equipment to film the teacher at work in the classroom; still others are employed as family workers. In this latter capacity they acquaint parents with the Direct Instruction program, provide specially developed materials which parents can use at home to supplement classroom instruction, make available to those parents who so desire, a sponsor-developed programmed course in child management, encourage participation in PAC meetings, and assist in training the classroom aides and assistants. Finally, parent workers provide parents not directly involved in the school program with information about their child’s progress and organize parents experiencing difficulties into problem-solving groups.
The Direct Instruction Model as Realized in Follow Through
The Direct Instruction Model is evaluated in ten sites: New York, NY; Grand Rapids, MI; West Iron County, MI; Flint, MI; Providence, RI; East St. Louis, IL; Racine, WI; Dayton, OH; Tupelo, MS; and Williamsburg, SC.
Behavior Analysis Model
Support and Development Center for Follow Throughp;University of Kansas
The Behavior Analysis Model (BA) recommends a highly structured yet flexible approach. Its primary objective is the children’s mastery of reading, arithmetic, handwriting, and spelling skills. The program includes aspects of team teaching, non-graded classrooms, programmed instruction, individualized teaching, and a token reinforcement system. The result is an education system which unites professional educators, para-professionals, and parents in the teaching process.
As an instructional system, BA follows a standard but flexible pattern. The BA program gives primary emphasis to the basic academic skills of reading, arithmetic and language arts in the primary grades. This emphasis does not imply that music, science, art, and social studies are unimportant. It only asserts the primary importance of the core subjects as a necessary foundation for success and achievement throughout school.
The BA model is operationalized by establishing a “token economy” or “contracting arrangement” within each classroom. Teachers award tokens for improved social and academic performance. The children can use these tokens during an exchange period to purchase activities of their choosing, such as games, toys, and books. Tokens and praise are distributed according to individual rather than group performance. The sponsor deems this instructional approach appropriate for all children regardless of their socioeconomic and/or educational status.
Teachers may choose among sponsor-developed and commercial learning materials, but are encouraged to select those which can be adapted to the model. Using a machine-readable data form, teachers prepare continuous progress reports on each child. The data is then computer-analyzed and an individual progress prescription is returned within a day. Teachers are trained in the use of systematic, positive reinforcement. The sponsor supports the elimination of punitive and coercive teacher behavior and encourages teachers to set specific academic objectives for the child.
To provide the necessary amount of individual attention, BA classrooms are staffed by three or four adults. The lead teacher heads the team and generally takes special responsibility for the reading instruction. A full-time aide usually takes special responsibility for the small math groups, and the parent aide(s) concentrates on handwriting and spelling lessons and individual tutoring. At the end of eight weeks the teaching parents may continue or not as they choose. Although many parents serve only for an eight week session and teach in only one curriculum area, some teach a full year in as many as three curriculum areas. Many eventually become permanent teacher aides.
The BA Model as Realized in Follow Through
The BA Model is evaluated in eight sites: New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portageville, MO; Trenton, NJ; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Waukegan, IL; and Meridan, IL.
Cognitively Oriented Curriculum Model
High/Scope Educational Research Foundation
The Cognitive Curriculum Model is a developmental model, based in part on development theory and cognitive structure as defined by Piaget. The focus is on developing children’s ability to reason. Goals for the individual children include development of skills in initiating and sustaining independent activity, defining and solving problems, articulating thoughts through language, assuming responsibility for decisions and actions, and working cooperatively with others to make decisions. The approach is designed to provide experiences through which children can develop their conceptual and reasoning processes, as well as their competencies in academic areas. The model provides a framework for structuring the classroom and for arranging and sequencing equipment and material in learning centers. These centers focus on math, science, reading, social studies, art and on interests such as housekeeping, construction, or puzzles. Dion reading, Nuffield and Cusinaire math, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS) and science material are used. Children choose their activities and work with teachers in small groups.
Staff development is an essential component of this sponsor’s model. Teachers are taught to be catalysts and motivators of children’s learning, rather than skill trainers or information providers. This objective is pursued through intensive training courses which occur three times a year. These courses are designed to sensitize the teachers to the way children think and behave at different stages of development, and to supplement the sponsor-provided teacher’s manual. Training and developing logical thinking skills in four major cognitive area (classification, seriation, spatial relations, and temporal relations) are a part of the teacher training program.
Central to this sponsor’s model is the focus on parent involvement as an essential component of the success of the child’s education. The goals for parent participation include the development of a sense of community between the school’s and parents’ objectives for children, and building the support for improving the fundamental parent-child relationship. Although the home visiting programs vary from community to community, the sponsor’s intent is that either the teacher or a home visitor, knowledgeable in the curriculum, will bring the essential features of this curriculum into the home. In this way, the child’s learning at home can be reinforced by the parents through use of materials found in the home. Various other kinds of parent activities are also found in these communities. These activities include neighborhood meetings centered on topics such as home management, nutrition, selling and employment; providing an information network to inform parents about jobs; establishing a parent store where foods and other homemade goods can be sold or exchanged; and holding PAC meetings and various other committee meetings. This sponsor encourages parent activities that are responsive to the needs and interests of the community.
The Cognitive Model as Realized in Follow Through
The Cognitive Curriculum Model is evaluated in six sites: New York, NY; Okaloosa County, FL; Greeley, CO; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; and Leflore County, MS.
Florida Parent Education Model
University of Florida
The Parent Education Model focuses on motivating parents to be primary educators of their children. For each class, two parents serve as teaching aides in the classroom and also visit the parents of all the children in the class, teaching them to teach their children. These parents also assist other parents with personal needs and problems.
Basic to this model is the belief that parents, since they are uniquely qualified to guide their children’s emotional and intellectual development, play a critical role in their children’s education. Accordingly, this sponsor seeks to motivate parents to participate directly in their child’s education both in the classroom and at home. The Parent Education Model does not enunciate specific achievement goals for children, nor does it recommend a particular classroom curriculum or teaching strategy; this model focuses exclusively on involving parents as equal partners in the educational process.
The Parent Education Model uses a Parent Educator, a specially trained home worker who teaches parents to teach their children at home. (Parent Educators are themselves Follow Through Parents.) Two Parent Educators are assigned to each classroom and spend half their time as instructional teaching assistants in the classroom and half in visiting parents. Every child’s home is visited bimonthly by a Parent Educator. During this home visit, the Parent Educator teaches the parent to work with the child in completing specially developed, individually assigned learning tasks before the next visit. These learning tasks are crucial to this model and are developed by teachers and Parent Educators with appropriate assistance from the sponsor. Learning tasks are assigned by the teacher to meet the individual child’s learning needs and enrich classroom instruction. A conscientious effort is made to construct tasks using materials commonly found in the home or easily obtainable. (When necessary, materials are provided by the Parent Educator.) Tasks are often Piagetian in nature. The Parent Educator ensures that the parent thoroughly understands the task and how to use it with the child before leaving the home. During the next visit, the Parent Educator ascertains the child’s response to the task and discusses the most appropriate “next step.” Thus the parent becomes involved as a guiding force in the child’s education. Following the home visit, the Parent Educator provides feedback to the teacher; and the two then jointly plan for the next home visit.
This partnership between home and school is reinforced by the assistance the Parent Educator provides with personal parent needs and problems. The Parent Educator is trained to make referrals for parents regarding medical, psychological, and social services and employment matters. The Parent Educator also encourages parents to join PAC and participate in other school and community activities (including classroom volunteering).
The Parent Education Model as Realized in Follow Through
The Parent Education Model is evaluated in these nine sites: Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, VA; Yakima, WA; Houston, TX; Lawrenceburg, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Jonesboro, AR; Chattanooga, TN; and Hillsborough, FL.
EDC Open Education Follow Through Program
Education Development Center
The EDC Open Education approach seeks to stimulate learning by providing children with a great variety of materials and experience within a supportive emotional environment. The sponsor believes children learn at individual rates and in individual ways, and teachers should adapt approaches to encourage individual progress and responsibility in learning.
The EDC Model is predicated on the notion that learning, particularly cognitive learning, occurs best when children are offered a wide range of materials and problems to investigate within an open, supportive environment. According to this sponsor, a child’s ability to learn depends in part on the opportunities and experiences provided by the educational setting. The sponsor believes that the EDC approach, derived from practices of British infant and primary schools and Piagetian research, is appropriate for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic or educational status. The EDC approach is operationalized by sponsor advisory teams who work with parents, teachers, and school administrators in each site to help realize the EDC open-education philosophy. This advisory team assists in setting up classrooms and selecting a variety of books and materials from which local educators can choose.
The sponsor believes that there is no uniform way to teach reading, writing, or arithmetic skills, and no uniform timetable for all children to follow. Children are not compared with other children and do not receive standardized tests. Consequently, EDC classrooms and teachers vary greatly. Teachers often divide classrooms into interest areas where children may work part or all of the day. Traditional subjects important in the open classroom may be combined with these interest groups. The teacher may work with the entire class, small groups, or individuals. Parents sometimes serve as classroom aides and assist in curriculum planning. In sum, the EDC Model is more a philosophy than a technique.
Since the sponsor does not prescribe a detailed instructional program and feels that the open classroom philosophy is appropriate for all voluntary teachers, this model demands a highly creative and resourceful teacher and is perhaps the most teacher-dependent of the Follow Through models. Teachers must diagnose each child’s strengths, potential, and interests and then strive to provide instructional units reflecting that information. They are trained to provide a “hidden structure,” to act as guides and resources, to make suggestions and to give encouragement, as the primary methods of extending their pupils’ learning activities. Within this environment the pupils are encouraged to work at their own pace, learn from one another, and make choices about their own work.
The parents in this model are encouraged to become involved. Their primary involvement is through their work on the advisory teams and in the PAC organizations. This model’s goal for parents is to help them “grow” and understand the concepts of open education. Its general approach is cognitive, with an almost equally heavy socioemotional emphasis. Although there is some stress on specific academic skills, the foci of this model are learning how to learn, developing an appreciation for learning, and encouraging children to take responsibility for their own learning.
The EDC Model as Realized in Follow Through
The EDC Model is evaluated in the eight sites: Philadelphia, PA; Burlington, VT; Lackawanna County, PA; Morgan Community School in Washington, DC; Patterson, NJ; Chicago, IL; Laurel, DE; and Johnston County, NC.
The reading area appears to be much less tractable. Direct Instruction, Behavior Analysis, and Bank Street models produce predominately non-negative effects, that is, progress in reading which is either greater than or equal to the progress of comparison children. Only the children associated with the Direct Instruction Model appear to perform above the expectation determined by the progress of the non-Follow Through children. Moreover, the Direct Instruction children are the only group which appears to make more progress in reading, both early and late. In general, most models appear to be more effective during kindergarten and first grade than during second and third grade. The Direct Instruction Model is the only program which consistently produces substantial progress.
Stebbins, L. B., St. Pierre, R. G., Proper, E. C., Anderson, R. B., & Cerva, T. R. Abt Associates Report No. AAI-76-196A under USOE Contract No. 300-75-0134. April 15, 1977.
Contains a description of the study, the educational approaches examined, a discussion of the analytic strategies and methods of presenting results, along with a summary of the results.
Volume IV-B: Effects of Follow Through Models (Office of Education Vol. II-B)
Bock, G., & Stebbins, L. B., with E. C. Proper. Abt Associates Report No. AAI-76-196B under USOE Contract No. 300-75-0134. April 15, 1977.
Contains a comprehensive discussion of the results.
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